Pavlo Klimkin: Georgia’s Recognition of Ukrainian Church "A Matter of Time"

Ukraine’s Foreign Minister, Pavlo Klimkin, told Voice of America that Georgia's recognition of the Ukrainian Church autocephaly is just "a matter of time".

“We believe we will gradually gain recognition from all Orthodox Churches...I am 100% convinced that we will get recognition and of course the Georgian Church is among them,” he said.

Klimkin remembered his meeting with the Georgian Catholicos-Patriarch Ilia II. “It was a very warm and human meeting and he said that Ukraine should have its autocephalous church,” the minister added.

Ukraine’s Church gained independence from Russia when World Patriarch Bartholomew signed the Tomos on autocephaly of the Ukrainian Church on January 5.

The Ukrainian Church had been under Moscow’s jurisdiction since 1686, when, under pressure from Russia, it abandoned allegiance to Constantinople, the historical seat of the Eastern Orthodox Church, now known as Istanbul.

The Tomos declares that the Metropolitan of Kiev and all Ukraine, representing the Holy Synod of Ukrainian bishops, should turn to the Patriarchate of Constantinople for all decisions in future.

A group of Georgian citizens, part of the opposition parties and some clerics called on the Patriarchate of Georgia to recognize the independence of the Ukrainian Church from Moscow and to congratulate the friend-state on its important achievement.

On January 30, Catholicos-Patriarch of Georgia, together with the members of the Holy Synod, received the representatives of the Patriarchate of Constantinople, who visited Georgia to discuss the issue of the Ukrainian Church.

The Georgian Patriarchate released a statement after the meeting, saying Ilia II told the guests that Georgia needs more time to consider the issue.

“The sides agreed that everyone should take care of the orthodox people, and rushing on the topic of Ukraine will not bring happiness,” the Georgian Patriarchate stated.

By Thea Morrison

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11 February 2019 00:06